With Love From
Darling's Kitchen

35. Valentine's Day
In Many Ways

Renny Darling

For more of Renny Darling's Recipes 
Please visit our website
www.rennydarling.com

Article Archive

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The Recipes

-Mousseline of Caviar with Creme Fraiche
-To Make Toast Points
-Russian Mini-Muffins with
Salmon & Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill
--Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill
-Crustless Cheesecake Pudding with
-Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce
-Strawberry & Orange Sauce
-Raspberry & Apricot Sauce

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Dear Fans,

I love Valentine’s Day.  It is so special to say “I Love You” to all the people you love ... your family, your friends, and those who have shown you acts of love or friendship.  It’s like counting your blessings.  And by expressing them, they bring joy to the receiver in a tangible way.
And then, there is the romantic side to Valentine's Day when you share an evening with a special person and serve a few romantic delicacies.  The recipes today are r
omantic ... AND ... don't forget the Champagne.

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Mouseline of Caviar with Creme Fraiche

This is one of the most elegant and delicious small entrees.  Serve it with small triangle Toast Points or Russian Mini-Muffins, or both.  If you prefer, you can substitute smoked salmon for the caviar, which also produces a delicious mousseline.  This version is a little lighter than my original.  You can use the regular cream cheese and cream.  Both are very good.

1 package unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)
1/3 cup water

3/4 cup low-fat sour cream
3/4 cup half and half cream
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/3 teaspoon dried dill weed
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 jar (3 or 3 1/2 ounces) golden caviar, or
1/4 pound smoked salmon, finely chopped

In a metal measuring cup, soften gelatin in water.  Place the cup in a pan with simmering water, and stir until gelatin is dissolved.  Stir together the next 5 ingredients until blended.  Stir in the gelatin until blended.  Gently stir in the caviar or salmon until blended.

Line a 4-cup heart-shaped mold with plastic wrap and spread mousseline evenly into the mold.  Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, remove plastic cover, invert mold on a serving platter and carefully peel off the plastic lining.  Decorate platter with bouquets of parsley, and lemon slices sprinkled with dill.  Serve with toast points. And, if you have the time, add Russian Mini-Muffins.

To Make Toast Points:
4 slices thinly sliced good quality white bread, crusts removed
sweet butter

With a rolling pin, flatten bread slightly.  Spread each slice with a thin coating of butter and cut it on the diagonal into 4 triangles.  Place bread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° until slightly crisped.  Do not allow to brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Store in a sealed plastic bag.  Yields 16 Toast Points.

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Russian Mini-Muffins with
Salmon & Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill

While this recipe yields more muffins than you will need, unused muffins can be frozen.  Mini-muffins are served warm, not hot or cold.  Room temperature is O.K.  Creme Fraiche can be made with the light cream and light sour cream.  However, non-fat sour cream cannot be substituted.

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Bisquick

Accompaniments:
2 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch
           squares
1/2 cup Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill

Beat together all the ingredients until blended.  Do not overmix.  Grease small hors d’oeuvre-size Teflon-lined muffin pans.  Fill 1/2 full with batter.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned.  Tops will settle when cool.  Serve warm with a dollop of Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill and a thin slice of smoked salmon.  Caviar is also an excellent accompaniment.  Yields 24 to 30 muffins.

Creme Fraiche with Lemon & Dill:
1/4 cup cream (or half and half)
1/4 cup sour cream (or low-fat sour cream)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

In a glass jar, stir together all the ingredients until blended.  Allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours and then, cover jar and refrigerate.  Can be prepared 2 days earlier.  Yields 1/2 cup.

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Crustless Cheesecake Pudding with
Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce

This pudding was an absolute rage at a recent dinner party.  The texture is as smooth as velvet and the marriage of flavors simply divine.  It is exceptionally easy to prepare, can be made a day earlier and will truly add a wonderful flair to dessert.  I call this a “crustless cheesecake.”  In Italy it is called a “Budino.”
 
IMPORTANT:
Please use ingredients at room temperature for smoother texture.
            1            pound cream cheese (2  8-ounce packages)
            1            cup sour cream
            3            eggs
         1/3           cup sugar
           3            tablespoons finely grated lemon, (thin-skinned).  Use fruit,
                               juice and peel. 

Beat together all the ingredients until nicely blended.  Place mixture into a buttered 10-inch round porcelain baker.  Place the porcelain baker into a larger baking pan and pour in hot water to reach 1-inch up the side.  Bake at 350° for 30 to 35 minutes or until pudding is set.  Remove pudding from hot water bath, allow to cool, cover loosely with waxed paper and refrigerate until completely chilled.

To serve, spoon into pretty dessert bowls or stemmed glasses and top with a tablespoon of Strawberry & Orange Sauce or Raspberry & Apricot Sauce.  Serves 8.

Strawberry & Orange Sauce:
1 package (10 ounces) frozen strawberries in syrup
2 tablespoons frozen concentrated orange juice, undiluted

Stir together strawberries with syrup and orange juice until blended.  Place in a sauce bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time.

Raspberry & Apricot Sauce:
            1            package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries in syrup
            8            dried apricots, finely chopped
            1            thin slice lemon

In a saucepan, simmer together all the ingredients until apricots are soft, about 10 minutes.  Remove the lemon slice and place sauce in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Note: -Pudding and sauce can be prepared a day earlier and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy with Love,
Renny Darling
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For More Recipes & Menus, Visit Me At:
www.rennydarling.com

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